.Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 401
hereditary genius from the fundamental postulate that a man's natural abilities are derived by inheritance under exactly the same limitations as are the form and physical features of the whole organic world. To obtain further data for the discussion of this subject he carried out the elaborate statistical inquiries embodied in his English Men of Science. Confident in the results of these researches, he proceeded after the manner of 'the surveyor of a new country who endeavours to fix, in the first instance, as truly as he can, the position of several cardinal points.' His results in this quest were given in his Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development published in 1883. A further contribution was made by him in 1889, when his work on Natural Inheritance appeared. His subsequent papers and essays on ' Eugenics' have still further stimulated inquiry into a subject of such deep and transcendent importance in all efforts to improve the physical and mental condition of the human race. It has seemed to the Council fitting that a man who has devoted his life with unwearied enthusiasm to the improvement of many departments of natural knowledge, whose career has been distinguished by the singleness and breadth of its aims and by the generosity with which he has sought to further them, should receive from the Royal Society its highest award in the Copley Medal." Nature, Dec. 1, 1910,
Vol. LX%xv, p. 143.
I have extracted only a portion of the summary by the President of Galton's life-work, but it will suffice to indicate that before the end of his life the highest English scientific body sealed with its approval his labours.
We have to note of his actual writings two slender papers in the Eugenics Review and one or two letters to the newspapers. Beyond these we have his personal letters to friends. Let us first consider the two papers in the Review. The earlier is entitled : " Eugenic Qualities of Primary Importance *." Galton states that his few lines are offered as "a contribution to the art of justly appraising the eugenic values of different qualities t." Galton considers that certain broad qualities are needful in order to bring out the full value of special faculties. We can ascertain what these broad qualities are by considering what are the differences between prosperous and decadent communities.
" I have studied the causes of civic prosperity in various directions and from many points of view, and the conclusion at which I have arrived is emphatic, "namely, that chief among those causes is a large capacity for labour-mental, bodily, or both-combined with eagerness for work. The course of evolution in animals shows that this view is correct in general." (p. 75.)
Galton then cites birds and mammals as replacing the more sluggish reptiles. Mammals, he says, are so constituted as to require work ; when they cannot exert themselves they become restless and unhealthy. Prosperous communities are conspicuously strenuous, decadent communities conspicuously slack.
Galton admits that circumstances may raise the tone of a community ; a cause seizing the popular feeling may arouse a potentially capable nation from apathy, but it would do so still more if the community had inborn "strenuousness," a simpler word would be "grit." To make his argument complete Galton ought to have demonstrated that "grit" is a hereditary character. I have little doubt that it is so, but I know of no investigation on the point. According to him this strenuous quality is built up of a sound body and sane mind enlightened with intelligence above the average and
* Pp. 74-76 of Vol. I.
f The reader will note that Galton in July, 1910, used the word "qualities" and not " faculties ": see our p. 225, above.
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